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Vodafone and Telecoms Italia agree to merge Italian passive towers network with Inwit

The FTSE 100 group will spin off its passive towers joint venture into Milan-listed Inwit and also has agreed a plan to deploy 5G across Italy faster and at a lower cost

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Vodafone will get €2.14bn cash and a 37.5% stake in the enlarged Inwit

Vodafone Group PLC (LON:VOD) has agreed deals to spin off its Italian passive towers network into Milan-listed Inwit SpA in return for €2.14bn cash and a stake in the company.

Alongside that transaction, the UK telecoms giant, which earlier in the day revealed that it could float or sell its UK, German and Spanish towers in the coming 18 months, also struck a deal with Telecom Italia to form of an active network sharing partnership for 4G and 5G.

READ: Vodafone plans tower company spin-off as revenue trends improve

Italian regulators and Inwit’s minority shareholders need to approve the deal first, with directors eyeing completion before June next year.

The active towers agreement with Telecom Italia is expected to enable faster deployment of 5G across Italy at a lower cost and result in net cashflow benefits to the FTSE 100 telecoms group of at least €800mln over the coming decade.

The passive towers, which are part of an existing joint venture, will see Vodafone and Telecoms Italia each own a 37.5% stake.

The pair intend to recapitalise Inwit, with Vodafone saying it plans to use the cash proceeds from the combination and any recapitalisation to retire existing debt, of which it currently has around €27bn.

Over time, both plan to jointly reduce their respective ownership levels from 37.5% to a minimum of 25%.

Vodafone's shares were up more than 10% on Friday afternoon to 145.58p, it's highest price since March.

Quick facts: Vodafone Group plc

Price: 154.14 GBX

LSE:VOD
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Market Cap: £41.25 billion
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